The first thing you’ll notice about the S10+ is just how good this device feels in your hand. It’s no mean feat. The S10+ is the largest of the trio of S10 devices that mark the tenth edition of Samsung’s top-of-the-line Galaxy S flagship edition. The Galaxy S journey began in 2010 and almost ever since Samsung’s Super AMOLED displays have set the benchmark for smartphones. Over the last couple of years, Samsung has released two editions of the Galaxy S devices. This year the Chaebol leaves nothing to chance with three Samsung S10 devices with varying screen sizes, differentiated hardware and cams. It’s a clever strategy; we’re particularly impressed with the S10e that comes at a compelling price of Rs 55,900 (plus a bunch of Samsung-esque offers). We put the spotlight on the S10+, the premium variant.
Samsung aces the form factor of the S10+. It’s more than 10% lighter than the Note 9 despite being kitted with the same 6.4-inch screen. Except this Dynamic AMOLED display (1440 x 3040 pixels / 19:9 aspect ratio / 522 PPI) is slightly more vivid. The S10+ is thinner by a millimetre but the key to this form factor is Samsung’s Infinity-O display. We aren’t really big fans of the ‘Notch’; displays like this one are comforting and evidence that we may have left the Notch behind in 2018. Samsung uses a unique laser cutting technique to seamlessly integrate the dual selfie cams into the right-hand top corner. It’s way easier to ignore than the wide notches especially when you’re catching up on HD content on the go.
Our review unit was encased in glass that merges into a polished metal frame. There’s also a ceramic version (available only in 512GB and 1TB) that is truly refined but a tad heavier. Samsung makes a slight design tweak from the S9 and the Note 9 by retaining the metal finish on the spine and contrasting it with the coloured glass back (Prism blue in the case of our review unit). The S10+ comes pre-loaded with Samsung’s new One UI. I’ve been testing this on the Note 9 for a bit and it plays out really well on the S10+. Samsung finally crafts a custom UI that does justice to its hardware. There’s less bloatware, the UI and navigation is more intuitive and certainly more visually pleasing. And yet it isn’t quite Stock Android.
Samsung’s second biggest talking point is the Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that’s embedded in the display. We’ve seen quite a few Android premium phones transition to an in-display fingerprint sensor but this one’s a league ahead. It uses ultrasonic pulses to detect your fingerprint – it’s certainly very responsive and secure. Samsung says that it will work better with its own or approved screen protectors; if you’re buying third party tempered glass or protectors, you might want to make sure it works. The other big highlight of the S10+ is its formidable camera set up. The rear camera brings together a 12MP wide angle lens and a f/1.5 aperture that cracks lowlight photography, a 12MP telephoto lens and a 16MP ultra-wide lens with a 123-degree field of view. The selfie cam incorporates an 8MP lens with a depth sensor and a 10MP lens. The S10+ shines in lowlight and the ultra-wide lens – soon becoming a standard feature across premium devices, is a welcome addition. This is certainly one of the smartphone cams to beat in 2019 and also allows you to capture 4K UHD videos.
Samsung’s flagships are always feature packed on the hardware front. This device is powered by the all-new Exynos 9820 processor. There’s a choice of 8GB/12GB of RAM and 128/512/1TB internal memory options plus support for external memory cards (through a hybrid slot) up to 512GB. The device blazed through our tests and battery life (4100 mAh battery) is solid too. Samsung also adds reverse charging that allows your phone to double as a wireless charger than can power up compatible devices.
The Samsung Galaxy S10+ is near perfect. It might not be a radically different device from its immediate predecessors but makes big strides in user experience. This is a Samsung device that will grow on you. It’s feature packed with a stellar camera and a much improved UI that all comes together with a compelling value proposition thanks to Samsung’s differentiated pricing across a wide range of variants.
The Samsung Galaxy S10+ starts at Rs 73,900 for the 128GB/8GB variant and goes all the way to Rs 1,17,900 for the top-end 1TB ceramic version. The S10 starts at Rs 66,900 while the S10e costs Rs 55,900.